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Jeffrey K. Berns

Managing Partner

Jeffrey K. Berns is the firm’s Managing Partner and head of the firm’s Los Angeles office. Over the course of his 25-year legal career, he has tenaciously fought for the rights of consumers, concentrating his practice on consumer lending and consumer fraud class actions. Among his other accomplishments, he led a group of 20 law firms that prosecuted cutting-edge class action cases against financial institutions, such as Countrywide, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan Chase, concerning destructive negative amortization loans that unknowingly caused borrowers to assume tens of thousands of dollars of additional debt. These efforts led to settlements comprising hundreds of millions of dollars in cash payments and substantial loan modification relief.  

Jeffrey, a licensed real estate broker, also has extensive experience with real estate issues.  He has also represented employees in wage and hour, and ERISA litigation, as well as individuals who have suffered catastrophic injuries due to defective products.
Jeffrey is a co-founder of the firm’s virtual currency practice group.  Additionally, he is the founder and President of Berns, Inc., a blockchain-focused start-up that operates a software development studio and a media division that focuses on the advancement and adoption of blockchain technology.  Based on his expansive expertise, Jeffrey has authored dozens of articles concerning virtual currency and blockchain issues.  He currently owns ETH and ETC, and he has previously owned Bitcoin.

Jeffrey has been consulted by numerous media outlets, such as ABC, NBC, The Los Angeles Times, The Daily Journal, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, and CBS, as an expert in the field of subprime lending. He is a member of the American Association for Justice, Consumer Attorneys of California, and Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles. He has sat on the Board of Directors for a number of nonprofit corporations, such as Temple Bet Ami, the Pet Orphans Fund, Temple Kol Tikvah, and the Wildlife Rescue Group.

Representative Matters

Mr. Berns currently serves, or has served, as class counsel in the following cases:

  • Shaked & Posner v. ReachLocal, case no. 2:14-cv-03400 (C.D. Cal.) (class action for breach of contract against online marketing company) (case pending);
  • Slack v. Burns, case no. 3:13-cv-05001 (N.D. Cal.) (representing union members against fund trustees related to the fund’s Longview investment) (case pending);
  • Salas v. IUOE, case no. 2:12-cv-10506 (C.D. Cal.) (representing union members against union officers and fund trustees related to various ERISA violations and fiduciary breaches) (case pending);
  • Pette v. IUOE, case no. 2:12-cv-09324 (C.D. Cal.) (representing union members against union officers and fund trustees related to various ERISA violations and fiduciary breaches) (case pending);
  • In re Wachovia, case no. 2:09-cv-02015 (N.D. Cal.) (class action against financial institutions that failed to properly disclose negative amortization features of loan, which resulted in the increase of loan balances for borrowers) (currently litigating against Wells Fargo for failing to comply with terms of a settlement agreement, which was valued at over $1 billion);
  • Ralston v. Mortgage Investors Group, case no. CV-08-00536 (N.D. Cal.) (class action against financial institutions that failed to properly disclose negative amortization features of loan, which resulted in the increase of loan balances for borrowers) (resulting in a settlement of $100,150,000);
  • Monaco v. Bear Stearns, case no. CV-09-05438 (C.D. Cal.) (class action against financial institutions that failed to properly disclose negative amortization features of loan, which resulted in the increase of loan balances for borrowers) (resulting in a settlement of $18,300,000);
  • Plascencia v. Lending 1st Mortgage, case no. C-07-4485 (N.D. Cal.) (class action against financial institutions that failed to properly disclose negative amortization features of loan, which resulted in the increase of loan balances for borrowers) (resulting in two settlements totaling over $1,900,000);
  • Jordan v. Paul Financial, case no. C-07-04496 (N.D. Cal.) (class action against financial institutions that failed to properly disclose negative amortization features of loan, which resulted in the increase of loan balances for borrowers) (resulting in a $1,750,000 settlement);
  • Lymburner v. U.S. Financial Funds, case no. 3:08-cv-00325 (N.D. Cal.) (class action against financial institutions that failed to properly disclose negative amortization features of loan, which resulted in the increase of loan balances for borrowers) (resulting in a cash settlement for class members);
  • Mancini v. Ticketmaster, case nos. cv-07-01459, cv-07-07509 (C.D. Cal.) (representing consumers who were deceptively enrolled into a rewards program (resulting in a $23 million settlement);
  • Peel v. BrooksAmerica, case no. 8:11-cv-00079 (C.D. Cal.) (class action against financial institutions that failed to properly disclose negative amortization features of loan, which resulted in the increase of loan balances for borrowers) (resulting in a $10 million settlement)
  • Boschma v. Home Loan Center, case no. 30-2009-00277721 (Orange County Superior Court) (class action against financial institutions that failed to properly disclose negative amortization features of loan, which resulted in the increase of loan balances for borrowers) (resulting in a cash settlement for class members);
  • Sterns v. DoCircle, case no. 8:12-cv-02005 (C.D. Cal.) (class action involving a class of hundreds of thousands of consumers who received spam text messages) (case voluntarily dismissed);
  • Harris v. Las Vegas Sands, LLC, case no. 2:12-cv-10858 (C.D. Cal.) (class action against hotel for deceptively charging resort fee) (on appeal following dismissal by court);
  • Castrejon v. Reel Security Corp., case no. BC392524 (Los Angeles County Superior Court) (wage and hour class action);
  • Gonzalez v. All American Asphalt, case no. BC389814 (Los Angeles County Superior Court) (wage and hour class action);
  • Smith v. MV Transportation, case No. 08-389864 (Alameda County Superior Court) (wage and hour class action);
  • Lewis v. Cisco Systemsy, case no. 1:08-cv-111788 (Santa Clara County Superior Court) (representing class of employees for whom their employer failed to pay wages for services rendered) (resulting in a cash settlement for class members).